I wrote this post a while ago, where I asked you if you'd ever set a WiP aside, and if you had, what happened to it?
At the time I'd finished (HA! yeah, it was nowhere near finished) THE CRACKS IN EVERYTHING and it was with clever Agent Julia. So it was shiny-new-book time for me.
I had an idea for a boy POV contemporary/romance-ish type story, and it even had (gasp) a title! My titling prowess is lame at best and so I took this as a good sign. This book had a plot. I had a plan. Yes, I'd confirmed the long-held suspicion that I was a genius.
So I set to work and wrote 19k words. And realised that the plot was RUBBISH. I set it aside. I wrote the aforementioned post hoping that you would tell me that this was a) normal, and b) certain to end in me running through sun-drenched fields of fragrant flowers clutching the finished work to my chest with a beatific smile on my face because, yes, one day I would finish the book.
You made valiant efforts towards letting me kid myself. (Thank you!)
A few months later, I read this post by Sarah Davies on the Greenhouse blog. You can see my enthused comment at the bottom of the post.
The point here is that I'm not a patient woman. I don't like waiting. I definitely don't like leaving things half-done and walking away. But a few months ago I could not for the life of me figure out how to fix this story. No matter how often I thought about it, no matter what crazy alternative directions I wrote down, no matter HOW MUCH WINE I DRANK (I know, it was bad).
I'd considered a change of genre - maybe this was a horror story. For a while I was convinced it was a contemporary ghost story. Or maybe a sci-fi? If I just added killer aliens or space monkeys, that would fix it, right? RIGHT?
Wrong. It's a contemporary boy POV romance-ish type story set in Siberia and London.
And what it took for me to fix it was TIME not WINE. Who knew?
Between the time that had passed (and in that time I'd written most of the first draft of another book and all but forgotten about the work that was rapidly becoming the-19k-that-shall-not-be-mentioned) and the stellar advice in the Greenhouse blog post, I figured it out. And lo, once again, it was awesome!
What do you do to figure out plot problems? Any advice for me if this happens again?